HALT! Have you read Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder? No? Have you even read Poison Study? NO? Turn around now and go do so though, this is the THIRD book in the series, peeps. And Poison Study is AMAZING. Just saying.
Goodreads Summary: "The apprenticeship is over—now the real test has begun.Fire Study is the third and final book, as of right now, in the Study Series by Maria V. Snyder; I had planned on putting off the reading of it since it was my last Snyder book and I loved the characters and the world so much but after loving Magic Study as much as I did I simply lacked the restraint. So I dove right back in reading the last two books back to back, quite happily I might add.
When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena's unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena's fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before....
Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear."
Yelena comes across so human in this one; not to say that she doesn't in the past two novels, because she does but there is just something that really makes it stand out in this particular volume. Possibly because in this novel, more so then the predecessors even, Yelena really does have to prove herself. And it doesn't come as easily as things have in the past. Yelena is forced to really examine her character, to take a look at her flaws and try to work through them because two entire countries depend on her being able to overcome her own fears.
A few parts of this book, I won't tell you in detail which because I don't want to ruin the plot for you, actually had me worried; not worried for Yelena, okay, well lots of parts of the book had me worried for Yelena and her motley crew but more so the standing of the book as a whole. What do I mean? The first two were five star books for me and instant adds to my favorite shelf, books that I will rave about to anyone and everyone who will listen but certain parts of this third book made me wonder if it was going to end up pulling off that same feeling of total enchantment and adoration. I shouldn't have worried. By the end of the book, when I clicked the finished button on Goodreads there was no doubt in my mind that it belonged on the favorites shelf.
These three books have solidified my love for this author and pretty much earned her a spot on my buy-everything-this-woman-ever-publishes list. I can't wait to get my hands on the Glass Series that she also authored and am hopeful that the rumor of a fourth book in the Study Series [due in 2014] is more than just a rumor.